While starting a business might seem daunting, Ballarat now has a community getting behind new entrepreneurs throughout the process.
StartUp Ballarat is an initiative providing support along with the physical space for people wanting to test a new idea or who are at the start of their business journey.
LaunchVic provided funding to help City of Ballarat manage the program, which will include meet-ups, master classes, co-working trials, training and access to information, while encouraging networking and the building of collaborative relationships.
Startup ecosystem Runway Ballarat and office space provider Platypus Co-Working are taking part in the initiative, offering advice and a place to go to work on ideas.
Platypus Co-Working founder Samantha Davies said when starting out, there had been plenty to learn across all aspects of the business and having a community of support behind her would have made the journey a little easier.
“Sometimes it’s just asking those questions about budgeting, understanding where the costs are going to be, renting a place, what I’m going to be faced with in the long term,” she said.
“There’s a lot to get your head around, even understanding if there is going to be enough money to develop the idea and where you go looking if you do need to find ways to finance it.
“In that way it would have been really good, it would have given me a bit more guidance. So that’s hopefully one of the benefits that others can get out of it.”
Ms Davies said having more business ideas come to fruition in Ballarat would only benefit the community.
Ballarat mayor Samantha McIntosh said the ultimate aim was to see an increase in successful startups.
“We want our residents to understand there is support for them to develop their ideas locally through a range of services in our startup ecosystem in Ballarat – StartUp Ballarat is the first introduction into this support,” she said.
LaunchVic chief executive officer Kate Cornick said startups are among the largest contributors to job creation in Australia and had been increasing their contribution to the Australian economy over the past five years.
“Ninety-seven per cent of Victorian startups are based in the Melbourne, so our focus is to expand the opportunities for startups to be created anywhere in Victoria with the right support and ecosystem,” she said.
StartUp Ballarat officially launches with a free co-working day at the Platypus Co-Working Space on Thursday from 5.30pm.
Ferndale Confectionery general manager Leigh Edward, LaunchVic’s Dorana Wirne and Eurekative’s Robert Layton will be some of the guest speakers.